tv Inside Story Al Jazeera September 28, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EDT
first time in 30 years, a lunar eclipse coinciding with a super moon. the rare occurrence will not happen again until 2033. have a good night. [ ♪ ] after almost five tumultuous years as speaker of the house, john boehner is out. leaving on his own steam, and he says on his own terms. on his way out he's made it clear who he blames for his troubles, the false prophets of the republican right, who promised more than they could deliver in opposing president barack obama's gender. government watchers conclude a shutdown is unlikely. are troubles over or beginning. putting down the gavel.
it's tonight's "inside story". welcome to "inside story", i'm ray suarez. as the house of representatives move towards missing another deadline for funding the government, house minority leader nancy pelosi made it clear the speaker of the house, john boehner, her troops were not dying to help the speaker out of his current predicament. republican hardliners demanded planned apparent hood non-abortion operations have government funding yanked and were prepared to let the government run out of the money to make sure they got their demands. fresh memories of shutdown, show downs and missed deadlines and congressional republicans getting the blame was not dissuading them. the day after pope francis's address to congress, john
boehner quit. al jazeera's libby casey has more. >> reporter: house speaker john boehner defended his record over the weekend and let loose on his own party. >> the bible says beware of follows prophets. there are people out there spreading, you know, noise about how much can get done. i mean, this whole idea of shutting down the government to get rid of obama care in 2013. it never had a chance. >> reporter: john boehner saying on c.b.s. "face the nation", that without a presidency or a super majority in the senate. the g.o.p. can't constitute change. >> our founders wanted a parliamentary system where if you won the majority, you got to do what you wanted. they want a long, slow process, so change comes slowly, obviously too slowly for some. >> reporter: too slowly for republicans like those at this
weekend value voters summit, erupting in cheers at the new that is john boehner is stepping down. >> speaker john boehner announced that he'll we resigning. [ cheers ] >> reporter: the g.o.p.'s right flank is willing to push to shut down the government to stop funding for planned parenthood. don't expect that to happen since speaker john boehner no longer has to listen to them. instead, they plan to pass a short-term spending bill in the case of kicking the can down the road in december. it will fall to a new house speaker to navigate. the top candidate is kevin mccarthy. he served five terms, never held a chairman's gavel, and announced his candidacy in a letter to members, writing: . >> it's conservatives that he
must convince, like mick mulvaney who appeared tonne fox news on sunday. >> kevin has the inside track. the question is will thing change, will they change for the better or will we replace john boehner with someone else. offering a challenge, daniel webster, another battle. representative toment price winning endorsements from mainstream and conservative members. republicans are meeting tuesday evening at the capital to discuss strategy. there's no date on the calendar for leadership election. and libby casey joins us now from the newsroom. libby, if we were to head to the corridors of the house side of the capital complex, is the horse trading already well and truly under way? >> it's more than under way. i mean people like kevin mccarthy were working the phones all weekend. instead of going home to california, or on the extensive
fundraising trips, he was here in d.c. making calls, and he announced that he is seeking the speakership. it's not just that race that we are watching. it looks likes he's - i wouldn't say locked it up, is getting close to it. it's looking like kevin mccarthy is not getting a significant challenge. the real race may be for the number two position, majority leader and conservatives seem to be willing to let general mccarthy rise to the top if they can secure the number two position. a lot of conversations happening on capitol hill about which conservatives would make the best candidate. it looks like tom price, a conservative, is pushing ahead in that regard. republicans will go behind closed doors, and i hear there's no staff, no other people in the room, just members, giving them a chance to hash it out. while we may not see an
election, the leadership will start to get a game plan together about what they want to happen. conservatives may want to use the time in not rush forward to make sure they get serious n sessions not just in terms of who is on his team libby casey from the newsroom, thanks a lot. putting down the gavel, terry holts is with us, he was john boehner's speaks moun on capitol hill. and norm from the american enterprise institute. and michael an associate professor of the political science at howard university. terry, was there a final precipitating moment, do you think, for your friend john boehner, something that said all right, fine, it's time to go now? . >> a high moment, yes, a visit
by the pope was a gallanizing moment for the speaker. he has been talking about some day this day will come for a long time. i think the combination of having had a very high day with the pope visit, and a walk as described in his interview last week, the walk to get a coffee. it doesn't get better than that, you know, and it's right back into the meat grinder. i can save my colleagues a lot of pain and agony and do the country a little bit of good, i'll turn it off now, i'll go out on top. i think that's what he did. >> norm, we heard people at the value voters' coalition lustily cheering the announcement that john boehner decided to put down the gavel. probably equal only by the cheers around the country of democrats who saw him as no particular friend.
are they both missing something by cheering his departure. could the replacement be more complicated? >> it certainly could. democrats were cheering more disarray in republican ranks than the departure of john boehner. most developments in congress understand that things are likely to get worse, not better now, in part because conservatives - they are more radic ams, they didn't think john boehner was conservative enough, which, from an outside perspective is laughable. they are emboldened. they think they have their trophy and can move on and be more aggressive. i want to add something to what terry said. everything he said is accurate. there's something else. john boehner, as speaker, spent a lot of time trying to accommodate those radical members, when he said, as you
had the tape yesterday, the idea that shutting down the government would end obama care, would not happen, but he let them shut down the government. giving them all kinds of rope to show that their goals would not be met. there's another set of precipitating event that caused him to leave. we were going to have some time in the next couple of weeks a privileged motion to vacate the speakership. it would have prevailed only because democrats were either going to vote present, or were going to support him. that would have meant a speakership where he would have had to rely more heavily on democrats than his own republicans for the next miserable 15 months or so. he just was not going to do that. at the same time he had meetings in the last few days with some of those more radical members, where he tried to give them all kinds of ways of accommodating a series of votes on planned
parenthood that would not shut down of the government. and made it clear that it was not enough. nothing would be enough. i don't think ken mckarthry will... >> you couldn't give the guys civics lessons, it's not an on-the-job training programme. fundamentally, john faced a group of folks that didn't care that they'd ultimately not have an end game and not lose, they wanted to make the political point, and fundamentally, i don't think that they institute the institution. >> i'll give you a chance professor in a second. stay with us as john boehner prepares to vacate one of the most splendid suites on capitol hill. attention is turning to who might replace him, and who will come forward to champion those fill osies at home. putting down the gavel, it's today's "inside story". change. >> gripping... inspiring...
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and right now he's the only candidate, does much change? >> no. in fact, the fundamentals are largely the same. you still have a democratic president. still don't have a veto-proof majority. so what's the point. it's like shifting furniture in the living room but all the furniture is the same. so i don't see much change in moving forward in change. symbolic stuff may fly a little more but that doesn't change a lot as far as the policy on the ground that drove the conservatives that pushed them to push a conservative speaker over the cliff if you will. he demonstrated in congress he's a very conservative member and for some people that's not enough. it's really about a lack of civic understanding and how the process works. you have to have veto proof majority or a president in your party and they have neither.
>> part of boehner's reputation when he came to the job was that of a deal maker, a legislative engineer. is that no longer valued in today's house? >> maybe not so much. he brought to the job a more open-door policy. he said that he wanted to allow the house to work its will. that through the strong speakerships of nancy pelosi and others, that the power centers had gotten out of whack. essentially that the committees had lost power and there wasn't as much legislating being done on the floor and there wasn't much inclusion of other kinds of members. so he wanted to be the traditional speaker if you will and having that open door is now part of -- i mean, to give your hyperpartisan members of the conference that gate into leadership is extraordinary and it was one of the reasons why john went through all of the political
firing squads if you will that went up over the last five years because he wanted to give those people a shot at having their voice heard. >> norm, tom price, rick mulvaney, are those people going to be heard in a different way if the house majority leader goes to one of their number? and is that enough? >> you know, the freedom caucus which is the more radical group of members, somewhere around 40 to 50 and it will tell you something that the republican study committee which when it was created in 1973 as the kind of right wing caucus of republicans had about a dozen or two members. now it's over 80% of the republican conference but the freedom caucus says they're not tough enough.
they debated whether they would even want anybody in the leadership. that they wanted the freedom to be able to take pot shots. now you've got individuals who are running and one of them may very well get there but what are you going to do inside the leadership? are you going to be loyal to the leadership or to the people who want to throw grenades? that's not clear. mccarthy's strength is not in policy but is in knowing the birth dates and anniversaries of the other members and what's going on with their kids. he has strong personal ties and he started as a young gun more radical in his nature. he'll be tougher but the bottom line here is either you're going to act as a responsible party in the majority in both houses, not shut the government down. not bring a crisis over the debt ceiling or you're not.
and my guess is the person with the toughest time of it is not kevin mccarthy. it's going to be the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell who is going to be the next target inside and outside of trophy. >> i'm going to be the proxy for the purpose of this conversation and try to watch this from manhattan, kansas or ohio where it doesn't make any sense if you know that you're setting another deadline and then everything is going to go up to those next 72 hours before the december 11th deadline. this stuff with funding the government, this seems like a recurring nightmare because the country loses in some of these fights. the republicans have lost stature and credibility and i'm going just by the polling now. people blamed the republicans for these things when they happened. why set yourself up for this?
again, i don't get it. >> i think because it's a fundamental misunderstanding of the policy process. the rules are still the rules and either you have votes or not. and whether you like or not, the radical caucus doesn't have the vote. they're just going to continue to do it. >> given the state of play in the 114th congress, does it even matter who's speaker? are there such profound disagreements that moving ahead with a president of a different party just isn't going to get
welcome back. inside the house republican caucus, john boehner was called a republican in name only. a traitor and worse by his own members. fights over the debt ceiling, the enable to to extend the payroll tax cut. so republicans at each other's throats even as republicans were trying to place everything wrong with washington squarely on the president. still with us, michael front roy, terry holt, a partner at hdmk communications and norm ornstein. terry holt, is this a bad look going into a presidential year in particular? part of the arguments of the country was give us the house along with the senate and this place will run properly and now we're seeing maybe not and does it weaken those
running for your party's mantle for next year? >> those are a lot of qualifications for me to thread the needle through. ultimately it's not the ideal way to start the next presidential election. you know, this party, the republican party, has not won a national election in ten years. the presidency is what this is all about. these groups are frustrated. and the constituents of different tea parties and their beliefs and their fundamental righteousness about the constitution, they're americans. but they're not part of the fabric of a broader agenda that
we're going to go forward with in a national election. many have all decided it's just a game show and are fed up and don't want to hear anymore about it. so i think the campaign will be affected by the malaise that the president and the republicans have caused. >> it's not a great look. most members who seek re-election are re-elected. we have really low institutional ratings for congress but
individual members are popular in their own district which is why we don't have much bipartisanship. they'll continue to be re-elected almost without fail. >> we've been segregated as a country by party -- by the processes of realigning these districts. there are a lot of districts in this country, democrat anticipate republican that are 80% concentrated under one party or another. so when there's not enough partisan turf in play, then those middle of the road voters are almost not even heard. it's almost they're the majority. >> does the public even understand there's a lot of people who go to congress to make gestures and not to do the sort of sloppy day-to-day mechanics of making the big
machine run? >> i think most americans know something is wrong but not quite what it was. boehner's departure may bring that into more of a sharp relief. boehner is not going to leave for a month and that month is a critical one in many ways for his party and his presidential prospects. he can at this point bring up a continuing resolution adjusting some of the spending levels for the entire year which could pass with many more democrats than republicans. it might even include extending the export, import bank which has become a focal or flashpoint for a lot of his more conservative members. he could extend the debt ceiling. do an infrastructure bill. he could take those terrible issues off the table.
but all the candidates have been bashing the congressional leaders, bashing boehner and basically saying we need this show down because they're appealing to that narrow sliver of voters which is actually larger than a sliver right now who are radical. >> we're going to have to leave it there. thanks for joining us. i'll be back in a moment with a final thought and an answer to the question what's a seat in the house of representatives for. stay with us. it's inside story. >> there's a line of police advancing toward the crowd here. >> ferguson: city under siege. >> it isn't easy to talk openly on this base. >> and america's war workers. >> it's human trafficking. >> watch these and other episodes online now at aljazeera.com/faultlines.
>> i've done everything that i can and frankly my move today is another step in that effort to strengthen the institution. >> one of the things you've seen written frequently about john boehner in the political -- he's an institutionalist. a house veteran. he revered the place and wanted it to work. if you accept that the constitution calls for a house of representatives and outlines its job and then you toddle off to the polls every year to pick the members, why not have the place work? in a compromise
-- by definition not ideal -- in order to postpone the day when you finally get what you want. john boehner showed his frustration over the weekend with gestures and votes that were not going to work but allowed people to walk away secure in the notion that they did not compromise. flirting with refusing to raise the debt ceiling is one good example. it rattled world markets, lowered the federal government's credit rating, and ended up costing a lot of money. voters have to decide if the price is too high and whether compromise is betrayal or is it the motor oil that allows the machinery of government, our government, to work at all. i'm ray suarez and that's the inside story.
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